Springfield, Mass. - September 17, 2016 - Two goals to open the second half gave the Springfield College men's soccer team a 2-1 lead, but a late goal from Wheaton College led to a 2-2 draw to open New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play on Saturday afternoon at Brock-Affleck Field.
With the draw, Springfield, which ranked No. 9 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Division III Men's Soccer Regional Rankings, improves to 5-0-1 to start the year including a 0-0-1 mark in conference play. With the loss, Wheaton is now 4-2-1, and 0-1-1 in the NEWMAC.
Springfield College's senior goalkeeper Zach Richard (Millbury, Mass.) made three stops over 110 minutes of play, while his counterpart, James Bailey (Groton, Mass.) made seven stops on the day. Springfield College held an 26-16 shot advantage in the win, while corner kicks were in favor of the Lyons, 2-1.
It took until under four minutes remaining in the first half to break the scoreless tie, but Wheaton was able to take a 1-0 lead over the Pride when freshman forward Roni Diniz (Brockton, Mass.) gained possession of the ball outside of the Springfield box and blasted a shot into the left side with 3:40 to play in the half.
Springfield College opened the second half with a great chance on net when Christian Schneider (Douglas, Mass.) beat his defender and touched a pass to Keon Haji (Shrewsbury, Mass.), who found an open Luke Alvaro (Chicopee, Mass.) in front of the goal, but Alvaro was called offsides, holding the Pride off the board.
The Pride finally found the back of the net with 34:29 to play in the contest when Curtis Bolduc (South Windsor, Conn.) knocked a pass to Danny Murphy (Old Saybrook, Conn.), who dribbled through a group of Wheaton defenders and fired a shot on goal that found the bottom right corner of the net to make it 1-1 just 10:31 into the second stanza.
Just 4:26 later, Springfield College took a 2-1 lead over the Lyons when Xavi Arroyo (Concord, Mass.) sent a ball into the box, which was headed back by Schneider to the foot of Cam Powell (Housatonic, Mass.), who took a touch to his right and drilled a shot into the back of the net to give the Pride the lead.
Looking to pull even with the Pride, Diniz picked up the ball in the middle of the field and beat a pair of Pride defenders to the outside, before putting a chance on net from in close, which hit the cross bar and bounced into the back of the net to make it 2-2 with 5:19 to play in regulation.
Wheaton College had the best chance to score in extra time when Steven Pinski (Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.) had a point-blank opportunity just 29 second into the second overtime period, but a diving save from Richard helped keep the Lyons at bay.
Up next, Springfield College will host Emerson College on Saturday, September 24 back on Brock-Affleck Field at 12 p.m.